Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and US Secretary of State Colin Powell exchanged views on the tension between India and Pakistan and Sino-US relations during their conversation through phone Thursday morning. Powell stressed that the United States will strive to persuade the two sides to keep restraint. Tang said the Chinese side has been persuading India and Pakistan to take measures to avoid the further deterioration of the situation.
Powell gave an account of the viewpoints of the US side on the current conflict between India and Pakistan, stressing that the United States hopes the tension between India and Pakistan will be eased and that it will strive to persuade the two sides to keep restraint so as to avoid the escalation of the conflict.
He said the United States supports the measures Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has taken in combating terrorism.
Although the current situation is still grave, progress is being made in easing the tension through political and diplomatic ways, he noted.
Tang said China is deeply concerned about the tension between India and Pakistan.
If the situation goes out of control and leads to a large-scale armed conflict, not only both India and Pakistan will suffer, but also the peace process in Afghanistan will be adversely affected and the stability and development of South Asia and even the whole Asia will be endangered, he warned.
Tang said the Chinese side has been persuading India and Pakistan to take measures to avoid the further deterioration of the situation.
Talking about Sino-US relations in 2001, Powell said despite the twists and turns in the first half of the year, bilateral ties regained the positive development momentum thanks to the efforts of the two sides, especially the successful meeting between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and US President George W. Bush during the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Shanghai last October.
The US side is looking forward to increasing dialogue and cooperation with the Chinese side in the new year so as to promote the further development of bilateral relations, he said.
Tang said the Sino-US relationship is improving and growing, and it is facing important opportunities.
China is willing to make join efforts with the US side to implement the consensus reached by the heads of state of the two countries, strengthen exchange and cooperation, properly handle differences and further advance bilateral relations in the new year, Tang said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 4, 2002)